The emergence of the concept of liberty is linked to the co-development of structures of the market and the modern nation-state, and, in turn, to a level of social complexity that has been a function of energy and material throughput. Although juxtaposed as political-economic antipodes, the State and the Market are shown to be mutually dependent, together generating ideational and structural possibility of a society of individuals. Drawing on Elias and Polanyi, the chapter charts the radical contraction of the domain of Livelihood – i.e. kin-centred reciprocation, community obligation, and place-bound production – as a necessary function of both capitalist modernization and liberal democracy. Outlining the dependence of modern political ideologies – conservatism, nationalism, and social democracy – on economic growth, the chapter concludes that the era of degrowth and contraction is likely to see the re-emergence of the domain of Livelihood as a counterbalance to both State and Market. The meaning of liberty in the Anthropocene is likely to depend on the emerging politics and economics of Livelihood.